Double trouble for Bern’s sporting fans

April 23, 2010, No comments

When people talk of a sporting double in Switzerland they usually mean the Super League and Schweizer Cup. This year the only team capable of winning it is FC Basel (most Swiss football teams seem to have FC in front of their names, just in case you forget they’re a football club). That’s enough to make the rest of Switzerland foam at the mouth. FC Basel are not popular outside their own city – most Bernese would probably even prefer FC Zürich to retain the title, or Lausanne win the Cup, than see Basel win either.

But of course the good people of Bern are hoping for a very different double, and this weekend could see their teams win, or lose, it. And it’s a double that few other cities anywhere in the world could manage: football and ice hockey. Bern’s football team has the improbably English name of Young Boys (made even more unusual by their home stadium being in Wankdorf). Until last week the Young Boys had been top of the table for weeks, dreaming of their first title since 1986. A little bumpy patch, a couple of traumatic losses, and suddenly FC Basel are top on goal difference. If YB (as they’re known locally) lose again on Sunday to FC Sion, and FC Basel beat FC Luzern, it could all be over for the Boys.

If that weren’t nail-biting enough Bern’s ice hockey team, SC Bern, have thrown away their advantage in the finals of the National League. Two losses in a row to Geneva’s Servette and it’s all down to a last game decider. Tomorrow, in Bern. You might think that would give Bern the home advantage, but the fans know that although SC Bern have won 11 titles, not one of them was one on home soil, or even ice. Not a good omen.

But just imagine if SC Bern win tomorrow and YB wrap up the footie on Sunday. There might be quite a few headaches in Bern on Monday morning. It’s almost enough to make you want to watch the matches. Almost.

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